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What Faculty Can Do

Seek Consultation:

  • Discuss the situation with your Department Chair
  • Contact the Dean of the Day in the Office of Student Life: 863-3145
  • Contact the Mental Health Liaison in the Dean of the College Office: 863-2536
  • Contact the Department of Public Safety if you or others are in immediate danger: 863-4111

Talk to the Student:

  • If you feel comfortable doing so, ask the student to meet with you in private, after class or during office hours, when the two of you can sit down without feeling rushed or pressed for time. Express your concerns to the student in a direct yet calm and gentle manner. Using language that is non-judgmental and specific is often best. You might begin with something akin to the following: "I've noticed that during the past four classes you have not spoken at all, whereas earlier in the semester you seemed enthusiastic and participated often. This concerns me. Would you like to talk about it?"
  • If you are unsure of how to begin or what to say, seek guidance from the offices listed above.

Refer the Student:

  • After reiterating your concern for the student’s well-being, let the student know that there are resources on campus that can assist the student.
  • Suggest to the student that he or she might benefit from seeing a dean, a clinician, or another specialist on campus.
  • Ask the student if he or she would like you to call the appropriate office while the two of you are still meeting. (Depending on the circumstances, you will call the Office of Student Life, Psychological Services, or the Dean of the College Office)
  • If the student needs to see a dean or mental health professional immediately, ask the Dean of the Day to come to your office, or walk the student to the appropriate office.
  • If the student is not amenable to seeing a specialist, give the student a list of campus resources (ideally in the form of names and phone numbers) before leaving your office. Emphasize that the student may contact these offices in the future.

Follow-up:

  • If you referred the student to a specific person or office, call that person or office to let them know you have referred a student to them.
  • If the student continues to come to class, ask the student in private how he or she is doing.
  • Let your Department Chair know how you handled the situation.